News 12 at 6, January 7, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga.---One of the year's first victims of the economy is Goody's clothing stores. The chain plans to liquidate all of it's 287 stores starting Friday, which is not good news for the Augusta Exchange.
Sales don't come as easy as they used to at S&K Menswear at the shopping center. Instead of buying belts, more people are tightening them, which is causing a ripple effect for stores.
"We build on the anchor stores for traffic and now a lot of anchor stores are going away," says S&K Menswear General Manager Andre Lee.
He has more worries now than just clothes, as he wonders what's in store when Goody's folds.
"[We] definitely are very concerned about different stores are closing down because you have a lot of shoppers who depend on those stores," said S&K Manager Julius Gordon.
He says he's seen his parking lot get emptier as nearby businesses close down, including Friedman's Jewelers, Ashley Furniture, and CompUSA.
Adding Goody's to the list is not good news for retailers or customers.
"We're going to have to go out of town to shop and that's not good for our economy because our taxes stay here," said shopper Frances Hill. "When everything shuts its doors and nothing else replaces, it's like a little ghost area, like a ghost town."
"It's going to be very rough for us in this shopping plaza over the next six months, but hopefully with old stores leaving, hopefully new stores will come," said Lee.
Goody's filed for bankruptcy protection in June, came out of it in October, but the company did not do well this holiday season.
As for all the closed stores at the exchange, there is no word yet on what will replace them.